From ‘Happy Gilmore ” to “Greatest Game Ever Played” and Golf Movies in Between

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Is there anything better than a classic golf movie? You don’t even have to love golf to enjoy one! If you’re ready to round out your golf movie repertoire, consider these ten flicks.

 Happy Gilmore

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Adam Sandler delivers a memorable performance in 1996’s “Happy Gilmore,” a movie that’s gathered quite the cult following over the years. This is also the movie that launched the “running-start golf swing,” which is now attempted by college guys and beer-loving players everywhere. “Happy Gilmore” follows Happy, played by Sandler, in his attempt to beat his competitor, Shooter McGavin, played by Christopher MacDonald. Chubbs, played by Carl Weathers, is Happy’s golf coach, who hilariously has just one hand. As with many Sandler movies, “Happy Gilmore” is chock full of profanity, but that’s part of what makes it so hilarious. Don’t miss the meeting between Happy and Bob Barker (as himself). “Modern Family” lovers will enjoy seeing Julie Bowen in her role as Virginia Venit, too.

 Caddyshack

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One of the best golf movies and a true comedy classic is “Caddyshack,” which came out in 1980. This movies packs in every funny actor of the time, including Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase and Ted Night. Practically every line is memorable and has been repeated throughout the years by fans of the movie. The outfits are practically a study in 1980s golf fashion, too. Just don’t bother with the sequels – they’re barely worth seeing and do not compare to the original.

Tin Cup

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Kevin Costner has been in a ton of roles, but “Tin Cup” is possibly his best. Made in 1996, this movie has everything – humor, romance, drama and, of course, your favorite sport. Aside from Costner, this movie also stars Cheech Marin, who bring comic relief, and Don Johnson, who performs as the fictional David Simms, a PGA all-star. Rene Russo’s character is Simms’ girlfriend who ends up getting romantically involved with Costner. Stay for the end, when Costner has a showdown at the U.S. open against Johnson. It’s fun to know that Costner is a pretty good golfer in real life, too! Also, the movie’s most memorable scene is when Costner continually hits golf balls into the water hazard to prove that he will be able to make the shot.

 The Legend of Bagger Vance

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Image Source: Bagger Vance

This golf movie stars two of the biggest actors of our time: Matt Damon and Will Smith. Charlize Theron stars as well. This heartwarming story is one of triumph over life’s difficulties and fulfilling personal goals. While this flopped at the box office, golf players have a soft spot in their hearts for this sweet story. There’s a bit of mysticism involved, so if you like some fantasy in your sports movies (think “Field of Dreams”), this one is for you. Even if the story doesn’t appeal to you, the acting by Damon and Smith is fantastic enough to enjoy the film.

 A Gentleman’s Game

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“A Gentleman’s Game,” made in 2001, follows a young boy who gets a summer job as a golf caddy at a ritzy country club. Throughout his weeks as a caddy, he learns valuable lessons about the rich and the not-so-rich. Thirteen-year-old Timmy, played by Mason Gambles, wants to become a fantastic young golfer. HIs father helps him to learn the game by caddying for the best players around, as well as some average players, too. Gary Sinise, who plays a former golf pro, takes Timmy under his wing. As a result, Timmy learns important lessons about both golf and life.

 Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius

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This movie is a tribute to Bobby Jones, a golf legend. “Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius” stars Jim Caviezel and follows Jones life from when he was a hot-headed kid through becoming one of the world’s most famous golfers. If you’re in tune with the golf world or you simply love movies about ambitious people who find success, this is a great movie choice.

Dead Solid Perfect

This made-for-HBO film stars Randy Quaid who plays a struggling golfer. Quaid travels around the U.S. to try to make it to the PGA Tour. “Dead Solid Perfect” is based on the book by Dan Jenkins of the same name, which many feel is the best golf novel that’s ever been written.

 Seven Days in Utopia

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“Seven Days in Utopia” was adapted by the book “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia” by David L. Cook. The movie stars Robert Duvall but starts when Luke Chisholm, played by Lucas Black, has an embarrassing loss. Following a public meltdown, Chisholm drives his car into a fence that’s on the property of Duvall’s character, Johnny Crawford. Crawford is a former golfer who helps Luke out.

Pat and Mike

This Tracy-Hepburn movie follows Katherine Hepburn’s character who wants to win the championship for her golf club. However, her husband is kind of a jerk and is standing in the way of her dream. Then we meet Spencer Tracy who’s interested in Hepburn. While the romantic triangle may seem dramatic, “Pat and Mike” is actually a comedy.

 

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Greatest Game Ever Played

Made in 2005, “Greatest Game Ever Played” is on every Top 10 Best Golf Movies list, and for good reason. Viewers don’t just get an excellent movie, they also get a bit of a palatable golf history lesson – a welcome one, at that. The story follows a working class boy, Francis Ouimet, who has unexpected golfing success. A true underdog story, the main character’s goal is to show off his talent in front of the biggest golf professionals of the time. Ouimet’s victory over Red Ray and Harry Vardon at the U.S. Open in 1913 was hugely influential in making golf a popular sport in the U.S. Starring Bill Paxton and Shia LaBeouf, “Greatest Game Ever Played” is ideal if you’re in the mood for an uplifting sports movie. If you love golf books, this movie is based on the book by Mark Frost of the same name.

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